Category: Safety & Health Initiative

Murphy Company’s Rick Reams Promoted to Vice President – Safety and Quality

MCAA member Murphy Company recently promoted Rick Reams to Vice President – Safety and Quality. Tom Skaggs, Executive Vice President, made the announcement, saying, “Rick’s work ethic, professionalism and genuine concern for our workforce are assets to the organization. We are confident that under Rick’s leadership we will further strengthen our safety and quality programs.”

Tom commended Rick’s work, noting, “Since rejoining Murphy Company as our Corporate Safety Director, Rick has demonstrated exceptional leadership and has contributed significantly to our improved safety performance.”

Rick has over 25 years of experience as a safety professional and consultant in a variety of industries. His work has focused primarily on heavy industrial and large commercial projects in both the public and private sectors.

In addition to serving as President of the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), Rick is an active member of several other local and national safety and construction boards, including the MCA of Eastern Missouri’s Safety Committee, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), the American Subcontractors Association (ASA), the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC), the National Demolition Association (NDA) and the American Allied Safety Council (AASC).

Train Your COVID-19 Symptom Screeners with MCAA’s New Screener Training Resource

Are your company’s COVID-19 temperature and symptom screeners properly trained? To protect your company as much as possible from complaints, lawsuits, local labor issues, etc., it is critically important to:

  • Establish a consistent process for conducting such screening and excluding symptomatic individuals to promote workplace
    safety;
  • Adopt measures to mitigate the risk of claims under laws related to discrimination and medical privacy; and
  • Be mindful of employee relations considerations.

Temperature and symptom screeners play an important role in accomplishing these objectives, so it’s a good idea to ensure that they are properly trained to take temperatures and screen for symptoms. MCAA’s new training resource, COVID-19 Temperature and Symptom Screener Training, will help you provide the proper training.

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Evaluate Your Company’s Pressure Testing Safety Practices with MCAA’s Updated Guide

Evaluate your company’s work practices on pressure testing safety with MCAA’s recently revised Guide to Steel and Copper Piping System Pressure Testing Safety. The guide includes information on pressure testing hazards, associated injuries, primary causes of pressure testing failures, general pressure testing safety, safe work practices for hydrostatic testing, and safe work practices for pneumatic testing. The guide also provides direction on pre-test safety planning, and sample checklists to help improve safety during your company’s hydrostatic and pneumatic pressure testing operations.

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Revised CDC Guidelines for Discontinuing COVID-19 Isolation and Precautions

CDC Guidelines for Discontinuing COVID-19 Isolation & Precautions – For Non-Healthcare Settings – July 2020

Recent research indicates that individuals with mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 remain infectious no longer than 10 days after symptoms began; and individuals with severe illness or those who are severely immunocompromised remain infectious no longer than 20 days after symptoms began.

Based on these findings, the CDC has made changes to their guidelines regarding discontinuing COVID-19 isolation and precautions for non-healthcare settings. The highlights of these changes include the following:

  • Decision makers should use a symptom-based strategy for decision making. Using a test-based strategy is no longer recommended, except to discontinue isolation or other precautions earlier than would occur under the symptom-based strategy that follows.
  • Persons with COVID-19 who have symptoms and were directed to care for themselves at home may discontinue isolation under the following conditions:
    • At least 10 days have passed since symptom onset; and
    • At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; and
    • Other symptoms have improved.
  • Infected individuals who never develop COVID-19 symptoms may discontinue isolation and other precautions 10 days after the date of their first positive real-time qualitative test for the virus.
  • The test-based strategy may still be appropriate for severely immunocompromised individuals. Consult with infectious disease experts for more information.

These recommendations will prevent most, but cannot prevent all, instances of secondary spread. 

VIEW GUIDELINES

DeWALT COVID Tool Cleaning Guides

The way DeWALT works is changing, but their commitment to service isn’t. DeWALT is here to support MCAA members through evolving situations, rules, and safety requirements. They have you covered with the informative materials that will guide you through the proper way to clean and sanitize tools on the jobsite. Watch this short tutorial and review the guidelines below for the proper way to sanitize your tools.

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Updates to MCAA’s Model COVID-19 Return to Work Exposure Control Plan

New information from research on COVID-19 is being generated constantly. This reality requires us to carefully monitor the new information and make updates to MCAA’s Model COVID-19 Return to Work Exposure Control Plan as necessary. MCAA’s model plan was recently updated. We recommend that you evaluate the changes to determine whether your company’s plan also requires an update.

The recent changes include:

  1. The addition of Appendix B – Critical Industries Requirements Summary
  2. The addition of Appendix H – OSHA Guidance on Returning to Work
  3. Text changes regarding OSHA now allowing face shields in lieu of cloth face coverings when appropriate
  4. Text changes regarding the cleaning of power tool batteries
  5. Text changes regarding surgical masks/PPE

UPDATED MODEL PLAN

Prepare for the Summer Heat with MCAA & CNA Safety Resources

Prepare your workers for the hot summer days by providing them with the knowledge they need to prevent heat stress related illnesses.

Common heat stress related illnesses and accompanying symptoms include:

  • Heat Stroke: The body loses its ability to sweat, and can’t control its temperature (HEAT STROKE IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY)
  • Heat Exhaustion: The body sweats away too much water and salt
  • Heat Syncope: The body’s blood pressure becomes too low, resulting in dizziness or fainting and
  • Heat Cramps: The body experiences painful muscle spasms.

MCAA Safety Resources Provide Training Talks

MCAA’s safety resources are available for free as a benefit of membership. Be sure to check out:

MCAA’s full range of safety resources are available via our Direct Links to MCAA & MSCA Safety Resources page.

CNA Offers Guidance

Long-time MCAA partner in safety CNA offers guidance on the subject in one of its highly informative risk control bulletins.

Caution Your Workers About Exposure to COVID-Disinfecting Chemicals

Some of the chemicals being used to disinfect jobsite surfaces can cause COVID-19 like symptoms in recently disinfected areas without adequate ventilation and/or other protective measures. MCAA recommends that you train all employees to ask appropriate onsite personnel whether chemical disinfection for COVID-19 has been performed recently in the areas they will be working. When chemicals have been recently used in those work areas, workers should request a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for the chemical(s) to determine what the health hazards are, and how they can protect themselves. Once they have the SDS(s) they should pay special attention to Section 2 Hazard(s) Identification and Section 8 Exposure Controls/Personal Protection.

Two New Sources for COVID-19 PPE

There are two new sources for COVID-19 PPE, cloth face coverings, hand sanitizer, etc. for MCAA members. One is the company MONTCO and the other is long-time MCAA partner RESCUE ONE. Both companies are credible, reliable, and have good relationships with MCAA.

MONTCO:

MCAA member discount prices are available with MONTCO if you use the discount code “MCA-1” when placing your order. MONTCO is working on an MCAA member order sheet, but in the meantime, you can place your order by e-mail or telephone at: mdelladonna@comcast.net, 610-935-9545

MONTCO INVENTORY

RESCUE ONE:

To order items from Rescue One, contact Carl Murphy at cmurphy@rescue-one.com or 301-740-3390 ext.12. If unavailable, please contact Dean Tschudy at dtschudy@rescue-one.com or 301-740-339 ext.34.

RESCUE ONE INVENTORY

Critical Change to CDC’s Discontinuing Isolation Guideline

Based on new COVID-19 research the CDC has recently changed their guidelines regarding discontinuing isolation for individuals with symptoms of the virus who are caring for themselves at home. The original guidelines for discontinuing isolation specified that at least 7 days had passed since symptoms first appeared and, at least 3 days (72 hours) had passed since recovery. Recovery is defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath). The CDC’s change increases the period of recommended isolation by 3 days, from 7 to 10 days after symptoms begin. Please be sure to change your company’s COVID-19 exposure control plans accordingly.

FURTHER CLARIFICATION & EXAMPLES:

Worker has symptoms, but has not tested positive: Any employee who has not tested positive, but who exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 is required to stay off the jobsite until he or she is free of symptoms for 72 hours or more without the use of fever-reducing, or other symptom-altering medications.

Worker tests positive, but has no symptoms: Any employee who does test positive, but is symptom free may return to work when at least 10 days have passed since the date of his or her first positive test, and he or she has not had a subsequent illness. 

Worker tested positive, has symptoms and is caring for self at home: Any employees who does test positive and is caring for him or herself at home may return to work when at least 72 hours have passed since recovery, and at least 10 days have passed since the symptoms first appeared. 

Worker tested positive and has been hospitalized: Any employee who tests positive and has been hospitalized may return to work when permitted to do so by his or her medical care provider.

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Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizers Are Flammable

Using an effective hand sanitizer is one of the most important things everyone can do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. This is especially true on construction jobsites and in mechanical service areas where there is no running water. To be effective against COVID-19, the CDC states that hand sanitizers must contain at least 70% alcohol. Since alcohol is flammable, we must be extremely careful when using it. Many things on a jobsite can serve as an ignition source, such as a lighter, a welding torch striker, welding and grinding sparks, even static electricity.

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Updated MILWAUKEE TOOL COVID-19 Resource Guide

MCAA’s long-time partner Milwaukee Tool has updated their COVID-19 Resource Guide to include additional content on best practices for remote meetings, eSERVICE tool repairs and digital training resources. The guide addresses tool cleaning, operations protocols, digital training, shipping and inventory updates, Milwaukee Tool’s #TOGETHERweSTAND campaign and how to stay in contact with Milwaukee Tool. The guide also includes links to sample documents, including a Health Screening Planning FormHealth Pre-Screening Questionnaire and Potential Considerations for Documenting Procedures. MCAA thanks Milwaukee Tool for the long-standing partnership, and for sharing these resources with MCAA.

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MCAA Model COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan

Many construction owners, general contractors, and construction managers are now requiring their contractors and subcontractors to produce either a Company COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan, or a Site-Specific COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan. If your company is required to produce either plan, MCAA’s new easily customizable Model COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan will make meeting the requirement very easy. By filling in the highlighted areas, deleting what doesn’t apply to your company or specific jobsite applications, and adding any specialized requirements, you’ll have an effective plan in place very quickly.

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Webinar #8: COVID-19 OSHA Enforcement Preparation – Adele Abrams

As positive cases of COVID-19 increase around the nation there is speculation that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will increase its enforcement efforts. The agency will want to ensure that employers are making a good faith effort to help protect their workers from contracting the virus. California, which is an OSHA state-plan-state, has already started COVID-19 related enforcement actions. OSHA does not have a regulation or standard for COVID-19. However, the agency can cite and fine employers using the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970’s general duty clause, and several other generic regulations and standards. The webinar presenter is occupational safety and health attorney, and long-time MCAA friend, Adele Abrams. Adele discusses what’s anticipated, and how to prepare for it, along with the OSHA record-keeping issue involving COVID-19 cases.  

Additional Resources:

This webinar was recorded Friday, April 17, 2020.

OSHA Addresses COVID-19 Recordability Issue

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released enforcement guidance for recording cases of COVID-19. Until further notice, OSHA will not enforce its record-keeping requirements to require employers to make work-relatedness determinations for COVID-19 cases, except where: (1) There is objective evidence that a COVID-19 case may be work-related; and (2) The evidence was reasonably available to the employer.

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OSHA Enforcement Guidance On Foreign Made Respirator Use

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently released guidance to its regional administrators outlining enforcement discretion to permit the use of filtering facepiece respirators and air-purifying elastomeric respirators that are certified under certain standards of other countries or jurisdictions. The guidelines also address enforcement discretion to permit use when the equipment was previously certified under the standards of other countries or jurisdictions, but are beyond their manufacturer’s recommended shelf life. Essentially, OSHA compliance officers are being directed to verify that employers are:

  • Making a good faith effort to use the most appropriate respiratory protection available;
  • Ensuring that their respirator users are performing appropriate user seal checks;
  • Training their respirator users to discard respirators with compromised structural and/or functional integrity:
  • Inspecting, or requiring their respirator users to visually inspect the respirators for defects;
  • Avoiding co-mingling of products from different categories of equipment; and
  • Training employees on the procedures for the sequence of donning/doffing to prevent self-contamination.

OSHA ENFORCEMENT GUIDANCE